It’s rare to find a grocer that literally does it all. From local and sustainable products such as fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy, Meridian Farm Market makes it easy for you to eat amazing meals from the comfort of your own home.
So, when Kaylesha Penner, the marketing manager, invited me to come visit the Farmer’s Market in North Vancouver, I didn’t know what exactly to expect. Sure, I have shopped at the Meridian Meats in my hometown many times (their steak is top knotch); yet, I never knew they offered different products. And not just any products. These yummy treats come from a variety of local companies that speak true to the values that Penner says Meridian lives by.
Just by stepping into the store, I quickly noticed the undeniably warm atmosphere. The interior walls are made from recycled wood; recycled bottles make up the gorgeous chandeliers hanging above. This definitely is not your average grocery store.
“The idea behind it was really to make people go back in time,” Penner says about the Farm Market concept. “To think about when they would be able to go to a fresh produce market and have local farmers and artisans come by and purchase just like they would if they went to a farmer’s market.”
The first farm market opened around two years ago in Tsawwassen and became a big hit with those who value fresh, sustainable grocery items. Given how green us Vancouverites can be, the Meridian Meats Farm Market offers products that completely live up to the green way of life.
“We consider ourselves as an artisan shop because we are local, we do everything ourselves and have hands on everything we do,” says Penner.
Meridian Meats will be celebrating 25 years of business this September, a milestone for a local, family-owned meat shop that focuses on bringing special products to the community.
Products that include organic vegetables and fruits (try the Gala Apples, they are seriously delicious), artisan items from neighbouring cities such as Langley and Port Coquitlam, homemade bread and baked goods, deli meats with local hams, salami, and fresh pasta, and of course, phenomenal cuts of beef and pork, juicy poultry, and succulent seafood.
All of the farm markets have a meat counter that offers frozen products like twice-baked potatoes to accompany your meat or poultry. Their Seafood section focuses on being Ocean Wise – which means they limit the amount of fish caught and they catch them in a sustainable way.
The chicken is all free-run Fraser Valley fresh poultry. The marinating process uses a machine called a Tumbler that allows for the flavour of the marinade to infuse every bit of the meat – you will shock your spouse with these unbelievably flavoured meats.
Aside from selling great items, Meridian Meats strives to give back to the community, as well. For the entire NHL playoffs, Meridian Meats donates $1 per pound of chicken wings sold to the Canuck’s Autism Network – a program that allows for children with autism to be able to participate in the sports they love. They’ve managed to raise of $6000 so far!
Meridian Meats specializes in free-range meat, so their cows roam in open pastures and have a grass diet. They are never fed growth hormones or given steroids. Opposed to grain-fed cows, free-range beef allows for a more natural, beefy taste.
With their North Van One Year Anniversary just around the corner in July, Meridian Farm Market has been such a success that they are in the process of building a new market-style store in Maple Ridge. Keep a look out for it on 227 and Dewdney Trunk in November!
Meridian Farm Market is the perfect place to shop for all of your grocery staples in order to create a spectacular meal right from home. The staff have wonderful suggestions for meal accompaniments, the products are always fresh, and the atmosphere makes you feel like you’re actually shopping at an artisan farmer’s market.
Here are some of my favourite products that are must-tries:
- Assorted Store-Baked Cookies – The double chocolate cookie is literally the best cookie ever
- True North Kettle Corn – Gluten/Dairy/Nut free deliciousness
- Sriracha Chicken Wings – Better than any pub you’ll ever eat at
- Southwest Marinated Chicken Breast – This will be your go-to marinated chicken
- Top Sirloin Steak – Meridian Meats really knows how to do steaks
- Pasta De Angelo Veal and Ricotta Tortellini – You can pretend to be Italian for the day and impress all of your friends with this amazing product from Port Moody
We highly recommend you swing by the North Van store soon – and be sure to check out the website for a list of locations, products and services and tasty recipes!
Written by: Crystal Scuor